I probably had to face bullying every single day. At school it was the kids in my class and in the hall who would seek me out.
When I was not at school it was the kid across the street. What made it more difficult was the fact that he was 2 years younger than me. At times I would even take a huge detour to get home simply to avoid the possibility of him bullying me.
And while it now been 19 years since I finished high school the social interactions I experienced as a kid and teenager are still clinging onto my shoulders. People all around at times will say that they loved high school and actually cried when it was over but I could not wait for it to be over. If not for the Art Room and Wood shop high school would have unbearable with no refuge.
When I was in the Art Room or Wood Shop rooms I felt like those were my zones where my utter skill and talent over shadowed and over powered any and all name calling or mental and or physical torment I faced.
Most of all I took refuge in the idea that I will not always have to hang out with these people and life does get better after high school.
Now, as an Early Childhood Educator 2 in training it up to me to not only identify and stop bullying but also teach pro social behavior such as sympathy, empathy and compassion. The documentary BULLY was shown in my Child Development 2 class for the duration of a class and afterwards there was a debriefing. And I am very grateful it was.
But it is not only up to teachers and educators.
It is not only up to the parents.
And it definitely not just up to the children.
It is in the partnerships where trust is made and built upon.
If you are being bullied, do not be okay with it.
Tell an adult until someone not only listens but does something about it to make it stop completely.
True friends do not bully each other.
And if you are bullied it is true friends that will stand up, even when you cannot, and say that that is NOT okay.
If someone says bullying is okay or perhaps calls it something else than, whether they know it or not, it is still bullying.
Not speaking up is equal to doing to bullying.
You are way too valuable to not speak up.
It is the power of 1 friend that a world of difference can happen.
Practically speaking: if you are being bullied. Tell them to stop. If it persists tell an adult. If it still persists: tell that same adult again and also tell them to contact authorities and keep track of who, when and how the bullying is occurring. People could perhaps argue with 1 incident but when a log of names, places and bullying styles is presented consequences for those bullies is more likely to happen. Bullying is not boys will be boys and girl matters. It is a matter of mental health and personal safety. And while this may sound like common sense, how many children have resorted to desperate steps because they felt adults were not listening.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.